Tuesday, 28 September 2010

New Labour to the New Generation – What a great gimmick!”


The Leaders speech at the Labour Party conference is always an occasion for the delegates, press and political pundits alike. And a new Leaders first speech is that defining moment he arrived the party began."  I remember Tony Blair’s first speech to conference, when he started to unveil his New Labour project, the jettison of clause 4, part 4 of the then party constitution, the fundamental political principle which had up till then defined and clearly characterized its mission – if not always to its leaders, but to the broad membership. I was at the conference where to all those assembled Blair made clear that he intended to rip up and rip out, as if something encumbering, had from his view to be cast aside, cast away!” The rest as they always say became history and New Labour was delivered.

So now the Labour Party fraternity 16 years and two months on from the election of a Leader who changed the Labour Party as millions had come to understand, know and rely upon it; was addressed today by a new Leader chosen in one of the closest almost cliff hanging finish’s ever staged in its whole history.

How then did Ed Miliband’s first conference speech scrub-up, what was it about and who was he reaching out to, what change if any could be seen from this his very beginning?

I missed the first few bars, which was about the first ten minutes of his speech, but joined it where he said that he was so honoured that the party had chose him to lead them. So I missed all the family background stuff that leaders like to wax lyrical about, remembering that Brown used to rumble and ramble on about his ‘missis’ and the Scottish upbringing, of his father, a minister of the Church of Scotland and a strong influence on his life, you know all that guff as if feeding cattle the fodder, but it never hit the trait of sincerity with me, it really did fall short.

Having read now the full text of Mr. Ed’s speech, I can understand why he built the picture and felt he had to build in peoples minds a visual representation of his own life and family background. The camera shots that I observed of the delegates, gave me the impression that some delegates were still really not that happy that he was king and not David; and whether this evaporates, and he is able to reach out to the membership in the time that lies ahead of him, remains to be seen.

However I did like his reminder about his Dad the late Marxist theorist Ralph Miliband and what he said of him: that not everyone has a dad who wrote a book saying he didn't believe in the Parliamentary road to socialism.  

What is it about some generations, when they turn their noses up at their poor old parents?”

And the generation thing that Mr. Ed is clutching, kept reoccurring as the theme, melodic like, constituting or characterized he must have thought, a pleasing melody to win over the doubting Thomas.

“Conference, I stand here today ready to lead: a new generation now leading Labour.”

And then:

“Be in no doubt. The new generation of Labour is different. Different attitudes, different ideas, different ways of doing politics.”

Well whatever all that means I don’t really know, but possibly a break from the Blair, Brown years of arrogance and bitter rivalries so unrestrained, which came to underscore them New Labour years. So have we now moved from New Labour to the New Generation?

It was interesting that the conference set had a glow of red about it, and that projected upon the walls was the images of the Red Rose. Not of course that this in the least means anything, but I do think that it indicates Ed making that break with the past, a break from the Cain and Abel politics that have dominated the top tear of the Labour Leadership for over a decade.

The image of Labour maybe changing then, but I am very certain that it’s content and approach to running capitalism will not. This was spelt out when the new leader said he supports a future where the small businesses and entrepreneurs can be the lifeblood of our economy, David Cameron will be telling us the same thing next week from their do!" 

Although I would like to know what those remaining few socialists in the Labour Party think of Ed’s reference to clause 4 when he said that it was right to get rid of it under New Labour.”

So on a quick refection then, I think that the new leader gave a good performance and-that's all it was, he has lots of work to do in winning over many within his party, but at the end of the day it really is business as usual from Britain’s second party of capitalism, with a new leader and from New Labour to the New Generation – what a great gimmick!”  

The state of Labour Representation?"


Our post, 'Miliband a new generation or same old, same old?" Which we are pleased to say and with modesty; attracted rather a bit of interest, particularly amongst fellow socialist bloggers. Harpymarx who we seem to mention quite a lot these days; although this is coincidental; posted a blog comment and authored, wrote a piece on her own blog, in a sort of response to our original post, where she asks some interesting, searching questions about the state of Labour Representation in the House of Commons. So rather than go into her concerns you can read them for yourself here: 'its about representation'.

Now her questions and concerns are very important, and we should be under no conjuration; that it is right, that those on what is called generally and broadly speaking the left, should examine as a matter of urgency, the role of those representatives (Labour), we send to speak-up for workers in the House of Commons and the European Parliament.   

Let’s put it this way; the life of James Keir Hardie is one of the legends of modern British politics, he admittedly, and what may seem long ago was the symbol of the ‘man in the cloth cap’ for many a Labourite, which passed from history into romance. But in reality the time of Hardie was not that long ago, the cloth cap may have disappeared and fashionably been replaced by say the everyday baseball cap, a bad import. But much that we must still articulate remains just the same in a great many respects, such as: two classes, an owning and controlling class, and of course a working slave class. Some changes more refined are that capital being more global, total control of technology by the few, who refuse to harness its advance to deal a devastating blow to hunger, homelessness and general poverty that billions are forced to endure and swim in everyday of their lives, if anything it’s the stable gear of an arrangement of leather straps fitted to the draft animal of the working class so that it can be attached to pull the cart in the pursuit of profits.

So what we intend is to do, is wait for today’s Miliband speech and then give consideration after to the very important, crucial question of so-called representation, possibly in a wholly separate post! 

Sunday, 26 September 2010

"The never-ending cycle of the seasons."


There is now a noticeable and obtrusive change in our weather and an upwind brings forth that new season known as autumn, when the leaves fall or descend gracefully from the trees after and during that spontaneous explosion of nature’s self-produced carnival of colour, as if this was a celebration of cycles end; "the never-ending cycle of the seasons."

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon picking up conkers that had fallen to the ground from a mighty tree along the Barking Road, Canning Town.

I don’t know as yet, what I will do with the conkers, probably string them and challenge someone to have a conker fight with me?”

As I compose this post looking out into the early evening night, light fading, and weakening fast in force of intensity as darkness descends; the shrubs, them low woody perennial plants dance in the wind majestically. Soon in a week or so the clocks go back, go forward, do you know; I don’t seem to remember?

Anyway what dose it mater for this post is the embodiment of jubilation, a feeling of extreme joy, for I feel that joyful occasion and happy event which is autumn. In fact I love every season of nature’s calendar, but best of all is the season of burning glory of rich vibrant, vigorous and animated colour!”

A comrade blogger has captured in photography, a hobby which she is extremely good at; the momentum and has carried it off with strength and a very real observation of this season that many sadly take for granted, or even a dislike too, shame that!”

You can view all her autumn photographs on her blog by clicking harpymarx.

Now have you noticed that I have not made any political statement in this post yet, over the years I have driven many a friend mad with my politics, something that I am not ashamed of, for it is passion that burns in my sole, for you, for me and for our sheared home mother earth, so my massage is simple – take care of this our planet, don’t let them capitalist greedy leaches destroy our home it’s the only one we have, for we are all the custodians and keepers of earth, it is not ours to destroy!”

Enjoy; "the never-ending cycle of the seasons."           

Miliband a new generation - or the same old, same old?"



Chewing over what was yesterday’s election, no sorry, coronation of the young man crowned king of all Labourites has left me wondering; am I getting too old?”

These leaders, not just of the Labour Party, but all political parties, seem to be picking them younger and younger, although 40 is considered middle age by most. And Ed Miliband looks younger than his years; I remember watching him on Question Time and thinking that he looks rather like a well groomed student.

When I first joined the Labour Party in October1974 and just in time for that second general election held that year, Harold Wilson was the leader, and he already looked like someone’s granddad, puffing away and chewing the end of his pipe. He Wilson had been in politics for at least three decades before assuming and taking over the leadership, and for me Wilson will always be an icon of the 1960s just like the Beatles, that rock group from Liverpool who between 1962 and 1970 produced a variety of hit songs and albums (most of them written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon).

So when I think about it, leaders seem to be getting younger, even Margret Thatcher had been in parliament for 30 years before becoming the Queen Boudica of the Tory party, good comparison I think, for she was one formidable lady in history whose name will never be forgotten unfortunately. "She was like Boudica tall, the glance of her eye most fierce; her voice harsh. Her appearance was as we now know, most terrifying." - Definitely a lady to be noticed back then!”

Anyhow, better not go wondering off to far aloof into the distant past.

Here is some voting statistics to munch over.



What sort of a leader will Ed Miliband become?”

Well mine and Brian Hopper’s sentiments are this – don’t hold your breath!”

First thing to say is that the election statistics are open to interpretation, and could mean many things to many different people, for us we read that Ed Miliband just scraped home narrowly beating his brother David by a small 1.3% margin of victory", and who retains much support in the Parliamentary Party, will this mean that the new leader will be a prisoner of right-wing Blairite's, remains to be seen. The elections now to be held for the shadow cabinet will be reviling, will the old guard hold on, will they gracefully stand down, and I am thinking of the likes of  Alistair Darling, Jack Straw, Alan Johnson, Nick Brown and Tessa Jowell just to name but a few. Nominations for the shadow cabinet elections officially open today, and voting begins on 4 October, with the result announced at 10pm on 7 October.

Well that’s it for now in regard to Mr Ed, we now awaited the leaders speech which he delivers to conference this coming Tuesday, and then we will make a fuller analysis of which way we think his leadership will take the Labour Party.     

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Mr Ed the talking horse



Well I promised myself not to write anything about the Labour leadership election on what is tonight the eve of that coronation. But I just can’t resist the temptation, and I am an evil little bustard, sorry, but it’s true.

I think we are looking at Mr Ed taking on the rains, and no doubt will start talking a load of horse, as in fact he has been doing throughout the contest, which is a real joke.

Whoever wins from the slate of five candidates will be an advocate of the pro-market big business agenda pursued under the previous leaderships of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
None of them is opposing the austerity measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund and being implemented by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition. They all agree that in some form or other these cuts have to be made and would do so if they were in power. The only disagreement some of them have is the method and speed with which they are imposed.

The full effects of the coalition’s first budget containing £11 billion in cuts are yet to be felt. They have been deliberately introduced in a staggered, piecemeal fashion in an attempt to divide the working class’s response. On October 20, the second round of £4 billion in cuts will be introduced just as the initial cuts make their full impact felt. There are widespread fears within ruling circles that this will unleash a mass movement in opposition, but one thing is for sure, don’t expect whoever is made king of the Labour Party to come out fighting, there only concern is as ever to get elected and run capitalism.         

Friday, 24 September 2010

Britain the worst place to live...



Not in my wildest dreams’, oh, correction nightmares’, did I ever think that one day on this blog I would be using the Scum (Sun) Newspaper as a source of information; well the unimaginable has happened, may there be mercy on my sole, as well as my human embodiment!”

This is a newspaper which you will know is produced and owned by the anti-Christ and agent of world capitalism, the one and only Rupert Murdoch and his News International Corporation.

If I have to have a lasting memory of this peace of trash, then it will be of the time that an accomplice who joined with yours truly in carrying out a daring and audacious plan to steal from outside Mile End Tube Station bundles that had been dropped-off in the dead of the night during the Wapping dispute; things don’t always go as planed do they; needless to say we were caught by the police, who were waiting for us, oh, well that’s another story, and I promise that I will get around and undertake writing about it sometime soon!”

However, that as it maybe; News International Corporation is not the subject that I wish to shine the light upon, but rather a story that the Scum title carried today and proclaimed Britain as the worst place to live in the whole of Europe. Surprised, or taken unawares, suddenly feeling the wonder of astonishment?”

Well it’s hardily surprising is it, when you think of the last 30 years of government and in particular the 13 years of New Labour, attacking the poor and featherbedding the extremely rich.

Once the envoy and workshop of the world, we are now being beaten into the slave shop of modern capitalism, in what has become an aggressive competitive drive that has been intensified to meet the greedy needs of capitalism, irrespective of any considerations for the vast majority of us!”

That’s the way capitalism works!”

So is it any wonder, or did the Scum newspaper think they were informing there readers of something that hasn’t already dawned on and become clear to the many, that Britain is indeed the worst place to live in Europe, if not the world, the universe!”

Only today, I was informed by a friend who works for DWP at a local dole office, that workers have been told that management expect them to do much more and ensure that more people are thrown of benefits, which is all part of the cuts strategy, cut’s that will make Britain a very nasty, uncomfortable place to live in, be under no illusion about that!”

Well here is the link to the Scum article, and we take no responsibility for damage caused to your eyesight.

The Scum             

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Organise ourselves...



This is a quick cut and paste job, oh and if life was only that easy. But a normal service will resume shortly. However it is my intention really to draw readers’ attention to a new addition to our Blog List, which as always can be found on the right hand side of this blog.  Liverpool Solidarity Federation is an Anarchist (great) blog run from Liverpool; anyone have a problem with that, we don’t!” My own experience, straggles and stretches way back to the poll tax days of the 90s, I’ve always found them the  Anarchists to be sincere and committed comrades, who are always prepared to make a massive contribution to the struggle of workers, in London they organise and help many with support from housing to welfare rights and much more besides. And with the impending cuts about to fall on all our heads, we have no choice but to now organise the fight back of our lives in the time that lies before us. That fight can not just be fought by holding rallies, lobbies of begging for political or economic favours from the political master class. Over the many years that I personally have been involved in political agitation, attending many a mach for this or that, wearing-out many a good pair of good boots in that process; I can honestly say that I’ve never achieved anything, that’s the truth. In short this time, we will have to do things differently and that may mean direct action and civil disobedience, that’s the refusal to obey a law because we believe the law, is immoral (as in protest against discrimination). But more about that in a future post to come; in the meantime here is a post and report that appeared on Liverpool Solidarity Federation blog last weekend in regard to the march and lobby of the Lib Dems conference which as comrades will know was held in that great city which is Liverpool. The Heading underneath is a link to their site.

The Radical Workers’ Bloc makes its mark


Today, over 4,000 people braved wind and rain to march and protest against the Lib Dems and the cuts agenda. It was a demonstration of the level of anger people feel – but also the willingness of their “leaders” to merely act as a safety valve, defusing that anger before it reaches the ruling class.

People assembled by the Anglican cathedral to march down to the docks where the protest was held. There were a number of trade union banners, as well as the banners of the Solidarity Federation and Anarchist Federation, whose membership made up the Radical Workers’ Bloc. Despite the rain, the huge turnout and musical accompaniments made it a lively atmosphere.

But whilst the spirit of the rank-and-file made the march vibrant, this was in spite the planning done by trade union leaders, not because of it.

The TUC simply accepted the police moving them away from the Echo Arena, though they later moaned about it to the Liverpool Echo. With the march. Rather than go through the main part of City Centre to the docks, the route may as well have been calculated to garner the smallest possible audience.

But we’ve seen this show before. Union leaders putting on the appearance of being oppositional to authority whilst following orders and acting as a conduit to get the working class to do the same.

It became farcical when the layout of the roads meant the march had to go past the point of protest and turn back upon itself to be able to feed into the rally. There was some laughter and cheering as the Radical Workers’ Bloc simply bypassed this by crossing the road and ending up at the front of the demonstration, beyond even the police.

However, there were cries of “no anarchists” [edit: we originally stated that these came from the Liverpool Socialist Singers, but they have stated that this was a misunderstanding] and the police rushed forward to overtake us. This protest against the government was going to do exactly as it was told by the state, every step of the way.

At the rally, where 4,000 trade unionists were all-but funnelled into a protest pen, various cosseted union big-wigs took to the stage to offer a bark which is never matched with bite.

Merseyside’s anarchists took this opportunity to hand out a pamphlet titled No War but Class War and make the argument for a self-organised workers’ movement that could not be demobilised from above. The response was largely receptive, and we were able to distribute several hundred leaflets.

We then took the lead from many others who left the bureaucrats to their speeches and went to warm up in the pub. One thing that we have seen, time and again, is that ordinary trade unionists share our assessment of their leaders. But anarchists often consigned themselves to shouting from the sidelines and alienating those who would perhaps be most sympathetic. We wanted to break that mould.

All-in-all, bar a brief and largely pointless appearance from English Defence League supporters later on, the day was a good one. But it will only be a success if people are motivated to organise themselves against capitalism, and rid themselves of the chains of union bureaucracy. 

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Clegg and you Lib Dems, pray please tell us; what’s fair about this?”



So as we await the Con/Dems hatchet to fall upon and into contact with our heads, here is a not so sombre picture of Britain in the seconded decade of the 21st century.

Almost 54,000 children already living below the poverty line will be pushed even further down by government cuts to housing benefit, reveals Shelter the National Housing Campaign.

Research commissioned by Shelter from the University of Cambridge shows that cuts will push an extra 27,000 families already below the poverty line to below the minimum income guarantee. Meaning that 54,000 children will be in households left with less than £100 a week after housing costs to cover all other expenses including utility bills, transport, food and clothing. Shockingly, a further 33,000 children will be in families forced to survive on less than £50 a week.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: ‘It’s hard to see how the Government plans to lift children out of poverty when one of its first big reforms threatens the futures of thousands of children who are already living on a knife edge.

‘As a result of these cuts, many families are going to face a stark choice between eviction and possible homelessness, or finding cheaper accommodation. Unfortunately, most will find the only housing they can afford will be either substandard or lead to overcrowded conditions.’

Shelter warns that where families are forced to move, this will mean children being uprooted from schools in the middle of term and torn away from their friends and communities, with irreversible impacts on their education and social development.

So Clegg and you Lib Dems, we implore you to please tell us; what’s fair about this?”   

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

World Homeless Day


Homelessness’ is a physical existence, a phenomenon that affects billons around the world; in this country there is not a City or a Town where the homeless do not exist, if that’s the best word to use (exist) in this post which is intended to inform readers about an even which I will get onto latter, which is the very first of it’s kind to be staged with the sole aim of highlighting the very real and unanswered miserableness that condemns multitudes of people in a world that has plenty. We like to think that our society is civilised, that we have moved on in our history of human evolution, used the resources at hand on the planet to provide warmth, food and shelter, but the fact is not for all if we where to be completely honest about it; most of us except that homelessness exists, we may even know someone who is without a home or even know a person that sleeps rough on the streets or in the local park. The strange thing is that when we think of them, when we see them our thoughts are only but a temporary consideration about their plight, as we go about our everyday business. It’s as if we are conditioned to accept that there will be those with and those without, or it maybe that we are just all to busy looking after our own affairs; there is no crime in that, but the point that I am making is why should we accept this state of being or not being without a home in a so-called advanced civilised society, and further more anywhere in the world?”

The Event

World Homeless Day is a worldwide collaborative effort that will be held on the 10th day of October every year. This year it happens to fall on the date 10/10/10 which is a Sunday.

So what should or could be done on this day? Seriously, we are asking you, as the day is there for you to use as you see fit to affect change and make a difference in the lives of homeless people.

To answer questions that might be springing to mind, the idea emerged during discussions amongst members of the World Homeless Forum. And don't worry that it won't catch on -- already, groups in more than 50 countries are making plans for the day.

We all know these international days of something or other come and go, but we’ve learned after talking to some of the organizers of other recognized days that, for groups that take advantage, the days can be very powerful in terms of fund-raising, awareness-raising and pulling together significant political power.

There is no prescriptive call to action like everyone should light a candle and hold hands or some codswallop like that. World Homeless Day is a gift to the homeless sector and everyone in it to use in any way they want locally, providing the opportunity to point to something larger internationally and draw strength from that.


If you are part of a charity, considering taking advantage of this concept to gain connections with members of the community that you don't have already. For example, World Homeless Day is the perfect excuse to contact a local school, church or service club like Rotary. Contact them, offer guest speaking opportunities and suggest partnering to raise money. Politicians can be encouraged to release new funds or proposals on the day or to acknowledge the good work already being done by people and organizations in their city or state.

In some countries, 10/10 is already being planned as a benchmark day each year to note progress. It should be noted that, to date, current and formerly homeless people have done more than anyone else housed or working in the sector to promote World Homeless Day and encourage charities to become involved.

World Homeless Day could be ... [insert your idea] ... if you make it happen.

What you can do today to prepare for 10/10/10:

If you have a website: include the supporter’s button found on the official site (already on 50,000 web pages).

If you are on Twitter follow us @homelessday

If you are a service provider and attend meetings with other service providers, as we all do, put discussion of World Homeless Day on the agenda.

If you need support planning the day or want to collaborate with others involved there is a section in the International Homeless Forums here:


The Socialist Way will write more about homelessness and the political answers required as we see it during and up to World Homeless Day in the meantime we urge you to give your full support where possible.

The breakdown of society?"



One of the discussion sites on the net that I like to visit and partake in the exchange of ideas is urban 75 Forum: UK politics, current affairs and news; you can join it here http://www.urban75.com/; you have to register before becoming a participant. Anyhow a quick visit this morning and I came across this thread: ‘Recession, people with not much to lose if jailed and rising crime.’

I thought that the first two posts gave a flavour of the time in which we live and the direction in which we are almost certainly heading towards. The inquiring and initiating poster called Mr Blob asked the following question:  ‘Aren't you worried about increased burglary, street robbery and white collar fraud as police numbers are cut by the coalition government and there is an increasing number of financially desperate people?’

When prison is no longer a deterrent as their money situation is so dire.

And then he received this reply from Spanky Longhorn; nice name!”

‘Up here in the North East people still talk about how in the eighties you couldn't hang you’re washing out in some areas as it would get stolen off the line.

I think we're heading for something worse than that, I expect in ten years time the lucky ones will be living in walled settlements around precious oil supplies fighting off rampaging tribes of bandits in beaten up old cars and methane powered gyrocopters.’

Well do you know what I’m thinking of that film in which Mel Gibson stared as Mad Max; which tells the story of the breakdown of society, murder, and vengeance?”

Is this the time to come - fuel stops flowing and the roads are all but desolate, as only a few vehicles are still able to run. Container ships from China stop pulling into port, grocery store trucks can’t deliver supplies and emergency services can’t answer desperate pleas for help. Governments fall apart as they fail to control an angry, hungry, rioting population which, after a long period of total anarchy, finally begins breaking into pockets. Civil wars arise over resources like clean water. Civilization in general returns to a simpler time when everyone was left to fend for themselves, depending on the land for survival?

Monday, 20 September 2010

Lib Dems middle class irritating and ridiculous



Just a few words about Nick Clegg’s keynote address to his party conference and his faithful delegates assembled including the extras and duplicates shipped in to pack the hall out in Liverpool, making it look somewhat larger than the proverbial telephone kiosk, as that old joke went.

Well what can I say about it, not one which impressed really, then again only caught the opening lines before I got bored and uninterested. What I did notice though was that the conference set was a Tory blue, and that I’m sure would have impressed fellow bedbug Cameron. All these set pieces by the party leaders are all the same, a sort of performance rehearsed beforehand and delivered in that all too common staged managed now formalized but recognised mantra of a sacred text.

How naive of anyone to think that the Lib Dem membership would rebel or even barrack with cheers and shouts at their Leader now Deputy (dog) Prime Minister. These delegates are the better off in our society, they are involved in politics as some kind of pastime or hobby, and they  by and large want to be somebody’s in their localities, what I used to call middle class dickheads, (that’s a bit vulgar and offensive I know but think of the coming cuts) that’s irritating and ridiculous; because that’s what they are in the great scheme of things.

Well that’s my few lines…

Third World Britain on the Way


Now I am not really that sure what all the fuss was about when it was widely reported in the press and the media in general that an aid to the pontiff on his historic papal visit had to pullout of accompanying Benedict XVI.
Just what was the big deal and in what linguistic context did German-born cardinal Walter Kasper who was quoted as saying to that country's Focus magazine that "when you land at Heathrow you think at times you have landed in a Third World country".

There is a soup-kitchen that I have referred to before now, that everyday feeds the homeless and destitute in Canning Town. It’s not quite near Heathrow, but almost on the end of the runway of the city air port which serves the many business types who fly in and out everyday making deals and living it up, the good life in the many cities of the EU.

When I look around I see poverty amongst my neighbours, it may not be as bad as a Third World country, but I’ll tell you this it’s not far off and it’s set to get worse.

But let’s just consider this; in the US poverty is rising, this is supposedly the richest country in the world and poverty is rising; where one in seven people in this great country are living in poverty. Some American Dream is that.

This is still a wealthy country, but the distribution of income has been becoming more and more third-world-like according to a report released last week by the Census Bureau on poverty and health insurance coverage. In 2009, 43.6 million people were in poverty, up from 39.8 million in 2008 — the third consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty, and the report draws you to the conclusion that the countries closest to the U.S. are Rwanda and Nepal. Just something to keep in mind as we think of the cuts in benefits on the way, and what happens in the US inevitably happens in the UK

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Hair today and gone tomorrow...


It’s been reported that Spaniards who are struggling in these hard times are selling their hair to help pay the bills, can you just imagine that? Not as bad as selling your own body parts as some poor people do.

However I just read that one Justino Delgado, who exports natural hair to companies that make wigs and extensions, says he has seen a sharp rise in the number of people looking to sell their locks; cor- blimey…

He started his business 50 years ago, traveling to villages to collect hair from women before he began to import larger quantities from Asia, mainly India and China. He says the hair can be worth between £45 and £135. “There are some women who have a lot of hair and, as the price depends on the length and the weight, they can get well paid for it,” says Delgado.

It’s a growing fashion among young women to wear hair extensions which is ironic as hair extensions are one of the causes of a type of hair loss called Traction Alopecia. This occurs when excessive tension is placed on the hair shaft. The growing trend for a long-haired look, achieved by wearing extensions, has led to a number of female celebrities being photographed suffering from damaged hair and in some cases, hair loss.

So, hair today and gone tomorrow!”  

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Into each life a little rain must fall - and came the cuts!"


Years ago Friday night and the weekend were something to look-forward to with eager and impatient expectancy. Away from the drudgery of work and with shekels of hard "earned income" in ones pocket a night out on the Town was the then time turned ritual, and how I remember those days so well now. Thirty or so years down the line and I find myself sitting in front of this computer late on Friday night and early Saturday morning thinking about the composition of this post. It would indeed be an understatement if I was to say: how times change?”

Into each life a little rain must fall

I love the saying ‘that into each life a little rain must fall’. I use it often these days I find. But the truth is that as we wait for the Con/Dems to unveil their much talked about vile and morally reprehensible-package of cuts to frontline services and welfare, such a deterioration in vital services will have a knock-on effect and on the private sector; then we must brace ourselves altogether for a real drenching, and what I mean is prepare for two things; first they the government the agents of capitalism, and lets not beat about the bush here, for that is what they represent whether Labour or in this case the Con/Dems who are, and make no mistake about it, going to give us all a real good soaking as they start to dredge and remove material from the channel or riverbed of working peoples communities and real peoples lives. Oh sorry, am I being a little dramatic here? I forgot we have a deficit or rather the country has a deficit that needs to be addressed, and it falls to us all to make them much needed sacrifices to mend that broken play-thing the economy. But I am really sick to the back teeth of listening to politicians and economists mouth the oral vallecula, on and on about double dips and quantitative easing and so on. But let us just ponder the later, quantitative easing which if anything proves that if its broken, then its not only working and can’t be fixed ever. So what do these cuts mean to working people, well I think that what they will amount to will be like taking food away from the mouths of babies, making old people worry about the rip-off costs of heating this coming winter, and as the cost of food starts to rise in the shops we will see the poor become dependent on food-handouts, the streets fill up with the homeless. Then there are the almost daily attacks upon the unemployed and the poor amongst us and the blogger Harpymarx takes that up in a recent post when see writes: “The ConDems have upped the ante with their turbo-charged attacks on the poor aided and abetted by the right-wing press. “Benefit scroungers” is becoming a common feature in the lexicon of media language. It is pretty easy to scapegoat and blame the powerless in this society and point the finger at asylum seekers to welfare claimants as it is all a distraction from the real enemy. ConDems want to blame the poor. It is creating an oppressive climate that uses language to fan the flames of hate (‘benefit scroungers’, ‘workshy’). It is about vilification and scapegoating.”

So my first point is; expecting the worst!

Then secondly; prepare for class war!” Yes that’s what I said; prepare for the class war. I was discussing with Brian Hopper and as we often do, the hits received by this blog and which posts have been successful or popular with readers, I told him that a post that was posted back in June had received and still receives hundreds of hits each month remaining in poll position at the top.  ' A full English breakfast the Budget and when Labour think they can run Capitalism! to read that just click the title  – Now I must admit that I was surprised at the hits that this post had received, but then again it was one of our earliest posts about the coalition budget and their warning to the world that they intend to deliver an austerity program of steps to be carried out and of goals to be accomplished in order to put British capitalism back into a healthy exploitatory position, and whatever the cost. We think for some reason of which we are not really sure that this post has hit a cord with some readers.

Now when I say class war that is precisely what I mean, a war against austerity, a war against capital and a war not of our making, we the overwhelming majority did not bring the world to the brink of financial collapse, and the leaders of the TUC would do well to remember that single-shelled fact, instead what do they do when they invite  to address their congress of  TUC and accorded a warm welcome to Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, who has insisted that the cuts must be introduced as quickly as possible. Remember him talking after the election; King warned Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that unless they announced immediate austerity measures there would be a run on the pound. So what do the higher-ranking priests of the TUC do by inviting Banker King to congress?  They lie down and crumple in the face of the class enemy. This man welcomed by the TUC is one of the chief architects of the government’s austerity programme. King told the delegates assembled at Manchester, “We at the Bank of England and you in the trade union movement should work together. That is why I am pleased to be with you today.”   

Following Kings un-believable appearance, the British media still continued to propagate as they only know how a cascading tissue of complete lies about this organisation that can best be described as a toothless pussycat. The Daily Mail for instance gave warning that the “Unions vow to halt UK with strikes”.
Rupert Murdoch’s the Sun claimed, “Union leaders are meeting to draw up plans for the biggest strike action the country has seen in decades, in protest at public spending cuts... Britain is teetering on the brink of an Autumn of Discontent”.

What utter bunkum!”

And just before I move on consider what John Monks, general secretary of the TUC from 1993-2003, said whilst speaking at the TUC congress for the last time in his capacity as leader of the European Trades Union Confederation. Shortly to become Lord Monks and take up a seat in the House of Lords, following in the footsteps of many previous trade union bureaucrats. When he was still leader of the TUC, in 1999, he told the Financial Times, “The days when trade unions provided an adversarial opposition force are past in industry”. However these were his last words on this occasion: “Let me say that I believe that influence on the boardroom will be better than influence on the picket line as a guide to trade union strategy in the future.”

Oh and I better not forget this, His successor, Brendan Barber, current general secretary of the TUC and a member of Court of the Bank of England since 2003. Makes it all to clear why King had come to address colleagues, and not adversaries.
“I want first to thank you for inviting me to address Congress.” King said, “Members of your General Council have made a huge contribution to the Bank of England by serving on our board.”

So there we have it, the TUC the Bosses friend cannot put up a fight even though they may call token demonstrations or lobbies of Parliament, which if we are honest posturing vain and conceited, and have never really achieved anything.

I have said many times before now, that the real fight and willingness to defend our communities; must be put up in our communities; we must build a movement of such opposition that makes the poll-tax of the 90s look like a small vicars parish tea party. It can be done and the imposable can be achieved – for a better world is possible!”

As we move into October we will be writing and reporting more about the new movement and the cuts!"

Thursday, 16 September 2010

James Lawrie R.I.P.



Experience - when truth is told, is life’s real teacher, or at least that has been my own observation from participation in it thus far; an accumulation of knowledge or skill that results from direct participation in events or activities; and always but not solely with others.

My own experience has led me to what I am and where I am today. An experienced life, that if I was able to exchange it for another, then in all probability I would decline that all too easy choice, even for a more comfortable and easygoing lifestyle.

On Friday last, my stepfather of 52 years standing ‘sadly’ passed away, in fact I am glad to say and with much relief that he slipped-away peacefully in his sleep, and I would like to think without any pain and that he went back to where he came, joining his own mother, father, a sister and three brothers; so he has gone but let’s say that he is not on his own, and a great comfort can be obtained from that simple but true line of thought!"

Now I am unable to join other members of the family who will gather and come together, as is the one real civilised and valued state of human culture and of mankind’s development to pay their last loving fond regards, with warmth and affection!”

And as for myself I would like to use this blog that I started two years ago;. to remember a remarkable, influential and esteemed man who really was held in high regard by many during the span of his life.

This narrative presented in writing, I must remind myself, is not about me, but about a man that I called my Dad for such along time. In many respects he was and will always be considered by myself as simply Dad, yes it’s that simple, for I have known - none other.

Like all parents, and without exception he was indeed a great teacher, much, much have I learnt, discovered and chanced upon about life because of this man, and whilst I may not have always been prepared to show it, I really do feel that I am in his debt.

So truly am I so grateful to his guiding and channelising light that I have to say - well thank you Dad!”

He grew up and was born in the grinding poverty of the 1930s and witnessed the last Great World War as a schoolboy (World War Two) that this country fought in; and in what was a very much different world than today. He was the eldest of a very large extended family, and I suspect for a time this had its impact that led to a troubled youth, but he soon was able to pull with great determination and strength his life together. He joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in which he served for 16 long loyal and happy years, during this time he met and married my mother and of course adopted yours truly, a mistake - to which he never did show any regret – such a man was he!”

The 1960s were challenging for both my parents, by this time I was joined by a brother and two sisters, and out of the RAF by this time he fought his battles in civvy-street finding employment as a store-man with versus car and garage service departments, he had other jobs for short periods of time these included working for Scunthorpe Council (for some years), bread delivery van driver, steelworks, (but left because he would not join a union) and then his big brake came and he went to work abroad for versus international companies.

Whilst in-between jobs in the1980s he came down to help me out when I was running a large fish & chip shop/ restaurant in King Cross London. In the 1990s he was the proprietor of his own fish & chip shop which he ran in the great city of Lincoln before obtaining his own public house in Ayrshire, which he ran for 16 years before his retirement. 

So what else I wonder can I say about this man and his life, well there really is a great deal and I have a feeling that I will only be able to touch upon so much in this post, but let me just say, and most importantly, that he hails from a great Scottish piping family were the skill and tradition of the bagpipes and its music were an important part of family life, his own father was a renowned legendary piper, so were his brothers and that tradition lives on today in the younger generation of the family. Everything that was Scottish can be said to be maintained by the family of Lawrie’s, and I must just mention that his younger sister teaches highland-dancing to children in Texas. But what was genuinely remarkable about my Dad is that he taught himself to play the bagpipes, remarkable because this is not the easiest of instruments to play let-a-lone teach yourself, and for those that don’t know, a tubular wind instrument; the player blows air into a bag and squeezes it out through the drones.

I have to say that my feel and love and as an outsider to this cultural richness of all things Scottish - I am indeed obliged and owe all to my Dad.

One other matter that I am determined to accomplish in this post; is to tell and express in my own words the personification of this very real relationship, or should I just say; as it was!” There can not be, or will there be any hiding the fact, that we in our relations towards one another didn’t always see eye to eye, I regret that very much, and the blunt truth if it is told; is that’s exactly the way that I have ‘felt-like’, and for some inconsiderable years now. However I’m pleased to say that I was able four years ago on a visit to my parents to make my peace and thank him for everything he had done for me; which was more than what anyone could have expected from a man who was not after all - my real biological father. There were differences, and over many things; politics, lifestyle, girlfriends, and so on. I am sure you all know the usual clash between one generation and the next which I sometimes think of often; ‘that when parents and children are at loggerheads, practically almost intimately, but then again not always; between young men and women and their older parents; it inevitably reminds me of thunder and that prolonged loud noise you hear on a summer’s afternoon followed by a flash of electrifying lightning, and then the splatter upon the pavement of large raindrops.

In life, and as we move on down that road we all take, we do occasionally, but only momentarily, look back upon what was in our minds eye – the memory’s, and we may even see things differently with an element of maturity coming into play.

But I don’t really know now, all that I can say is for myself there are many things that I regret, and many things I’d wished I never said; or even terrible deeds I ever did to hurt others without even thinking first. It's strange but somehow it rings true; that you always hurt those you love the most first. I think that my parents and whole family had plenty of that flung at them from me!”
When I was young my dad was horrified at the prospect of one of his wards, children becoming a socialist – and what fights we had, and please, it wasn’t really that bad, but he was irritated whenever I spoke the gospel according to Marx: Oh such naivety on my part back then tinged with a young mans arrogance.

Now all these years latter and I have managed to keep the faith and true to my own socialist instinct and inherent aptitude of universal social justice in favour of all working people, for this was the class that my parent’s descended from and no mater how you look at it, they very much belonged to that socio-economic class.

I never hated anyone for being a working class Tory, and never will. My role has always been to try and change the world for the better, to try and stop war, hunger and death wherever and whenever possible, to try and replace hatred with the real love of the sheared common good. I’m only sorry that some family and even friends don’t see that, but then that’s all part of the course I suppose!”

One very important point that I learnt in life and that’s if you can avoid being the judge and the jury, then only co-operation and mutual respect will win that new day. My Dad will never believe it, or even now know it, but these are some of the things he bequeathed – Oh much better than aunt’s old jewellery!”   

Thank You!”


 

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Government a deception by creating illusory ideas.

As a radical supporter of political and social revolution; and I must say; and as one who no longer holds any illusions in our so-called parliamentary democracy, which is the act of deluding; a deception by creating illusory ideas like a pit of quick-sand that the many still fall into, and sadly will do for some time yet to come unfortunately. So until a majority start to understand and see that another world is possible, I dare say then, that we will have to put up with a few more elections. And if that’s the case then the one thing that I hope and pray for and please god, is that at the next general election the Liberal/Democrats are wiped of the political map. This would be a very fitting organic phenomenon and end to a party that has allowed and participated in partnership with the true party of capitalism to rocket launch the most vindictive class war attack on the working classes.

I am reminded of this when I read the comments of Employment Minister Chris Grayling referring to today’s revelation that there has been a rise in employment as apparently official figures revealed 286,000 more people secured jobs as unemployment fell by less than expected in the quarter, down 8,000 to 2.47 million, while the closely (government) watched Jobseeker's Allowance claimant count rose by an unexpected 2,300 last month to 1.47 million, establishing the first increase since January, and I think that we will start to see that climb upward with gradual and continuous advance in the months ahead. The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested the leap in employment came largely as those classed as economically inactive, such as students, took on jobs. These jobs in all probability would have been by and large part-time and or temporary. Bosses are always attracted to student labour at this time of the year, many employment rights such as the right to claim unfair dismissal and redundancy are waved for starters, and most are supplied by an agency – this part-time, fixed-term, home-working and very casual/seasonal work hardly counts in my book.

So when Chris Grayling says that "today's jump in employment, is driven by the private sector, he simply is talking cheesy crap!”

One other thing that’s worrying me about Grayling, is his enunciating and misleading statement; that the system the government inherited is failing to get people on welfare into jobs.

You have got that wrong Grayling; it’s the system of capitalism of which we have said many times on this blog, which is failing people, and that’s why at the beginning of this post and now at it’s end I will say it again; our so-called parliamentary democracy, is nothing more than an act of deluding; a deception by creating illusory ideas. 

Monday, 13 September 2010

Just not ‘interested’


Driving home with friends after a pleasant day in the lovely Peak District, the Matlock and Bakewell area in general, a conversation sparked-up which had developed about and around the Labour leadership; one of the companions in our car said; he was very surprised at the answer I had given him after he had asked me directly, as to who I imagined would win the Labour leadership. I had deliberately started and finished my part in the conversation as abruptly as possible; “I am not ‘interested’ had been my brusk and curt reply, it was not my intention to be rude to these friends, but was I to be allowed to get away with the reply and be left to listen to their analysis of this particular boring question; not at all, his wife was to enter the debate with the question, why not? “I thought you were a Labour supporter”, I was came my reply, I was, but we don't have a Labour Party any more, not one that I know, we have New Labour, and that to me is a new political party that cannot in any true sense be classed as true Labour.

As soon as clause four was removed from the constitution the game was over, the party started by worker's, had been infiltrated and destroyed from within, even the Iron Lady congratulated Tony Blair on him winning the premiership and just to rub the salt into the wounds of what was known as old Labour, she was invited back to number ten for tea and cake.

This true vindictive enemy of the working classes.

The defeat of the miner's was the start of the end, this reformation of the workers, or the slave class, started by her Margaret Thatcher and now here she was being invited back, after her own party had stabbed her in the back and got her out of there, what was this saying to the would-be brains (the political class) of Britain, of whom I blame for the state of the country, and what is worse, all those brains of Britain of the last fifteen to twenty years are still out there hanging on.

This latest episode in British politics the election of a new Leader of the Labour Party is heaven sent for the ruling class along with the Lib-Con coalition; so don't let us be dupe, we are heading towards a real bad time, and for the worse off , the worse things are going to get!” But I don't need to spell that out for we read and hear about it everyday!!"

Post by: Brian Hopper or In the Box

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Turning his attention to the long-term unemployed to seek savings.


Just been taking in the news that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he intends to make further reductions to Britain’s welfare budget next month when he outlines and forges with his partners in the Con/Dem government some of the deepest spending cuts in living memory.

When I say forge, well what I mean is he will move by hammering on the Tory anvil, the unemployed, the sick, the old, poor and vulnerable who are dependent on the pittance that many have no alternative but to make do with; make no mistake these cuts particularly to those on low pay or benefits will illuminate and foster, as it seems, new social divisions of the have’s and the have not’s in our society.  

I spent nearly twenty years trying to dispel, and amongst my fellow workers, the lie that the class system has somehow miraculously disappeared. And yet today the media for reasons none other than of supporting a right wing agenda, have flagged up statistics released by Office of National Statistics that show how hard things have become for working people.


NEARLY one in five households in Britain has no one who works and is entirely dependent on benefits’. The number of work-less households rocketed by 148,000 last year to just under four million.
It means more than seven million people – including almost two million children – are now living in homes where no one is in paid employment. Of course these revelations by the media are part of a carefully planed strategy to prepare the country for the most vindictive attack on all our living standards.

Osborne has already pledged to slash 11 billion pounds  from the welfare budget by 2015, targeting tax credits to middle income families and housing benefits.  The extra cuts would amount to about 4 billion pounds.

Osborne said he would turn his attention to the long-term unemployed to seek savings.

“There are five million people living on permanent out-of- work benefits,” he said. “That is a tragedy for them and fiscally unsustainable for us as a country -- we can’t afford it anymore.”  

But George, how about this; we can’t afford capitalism anymore!”  

Koran burning ceremony a racist act!"

Never has it ever appealed to me, that I would like to visit the US even for a short holiday. There are millions of decent people is the US and of that I am absolutely certain - is a sure thing. However today’s wildly reported Florida church's planned Koran burning ceremony, is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation of Muslims the world over and should be condemned as a racist act not befitting Christians.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Not Out of the Woods

I am often reading or hearing in the news, that the so-called recession is over, that we have been out of it for some time; and then this week I learn that the whole global economy is not out of the woods after all, and it may even be teetering towards a double-dip recession?

When I look around, or speck to others, I soon realise that things are not really in a partially good state, that almost everyone I know is struggling to pay bills or just managing to keep their heads above the water mark, an all too common story of everydayness in Britain.

Two years after a near-meltdown in the world's financial system, with the United States looking sluggish, equity markets lethargic, and Europeans fighting a debt crisis, and so the experts gathered in Italy on Friday last and offered a generally gloomy outlook - especially for the United States and much of the industrialized world. Some of the assembled experts and leaders at the annual Ambrosetti Forum on the shore of Lake Como were somewhat more upbeat: Economist Edwin Truman, a senior fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, predicted "the most likely global outlook is subpar growth, meaning, that’s not measuring up to traditional standards of performance, value, or production.

New figures for the British economy reveal a slowdown in public sector activity leading to increased job losses. This has revived media speculation about a possible “double dip recession” in the near future when the drastic spending cuts announced by the new British coalition government come into force.

Something to look forward to then?”

The latest economic data from the United States, which points towards an ongoing and possibly deepening recession, is once again pushing up the value of the euro against the dollar and will also lead to reduced demand from one of Germany’s most important export partners. The biggest growth region for Germany’s export industries—Asia, and in particular China—have also published figures that reveal a marked cooling off in their economies. As has been the case before in recent history, Germany’s strength—its dynamic industrial base—is increasingly proving to be its Achilles’ heel.

The response of European nations to the deepening economic crisis is inevitably “dog eat dog”. The crisis is not only intensifying the fault lines between Europe and its main international rivals, but is also rapidly fuelling divisions inside Europe itself. This turn towards nationalism and self-interest on the continent will have explosive political consequences.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, 3 September 2010

Sir Robin Wales and the MP for East Ham, Stephen Timms support Mr Ed.

Just got time this morning to do two things, or rather bring two pieces of information. The first is some news that’s come my way in regards to the closing stages of the Labour Party leadership contest. I was gobsmacked to have learnt this morning, that Newham Labour party are holding in partnership with the Ed Miliband Campaign a meeting for new members hosted by Mayor, Sir Robin Wales and the MP for East Ham, Stephen Timms, and this event is taking place this Sunday. 

So it’s quite obvious then that Ed Miliband has the support of Sir Robin Wales and Stephen Timms, which in-itself says a great deal about Miliband Jnr.

Sir Robin, who regular visitors to this blog may know, runs the Labour administration which miss-runs Newham the Olympic Borough – one of the poorest areas in the country, his tenure of office was held-up and hailed by New Labour as a model of good local government; in fact it was the flagship most associated with Tony Blair and the last place he visited after standing down as Prime Minister,  thanking Sir Robin and Newham Labour Party members for their support over the years. So that confirms to me that whoever wins will simply continue to do the same old, same old!”


We received a comment to the recent blog posting about Arthur Scargill, and decided that that we should promote the information more prominently.


Just in case anyone is interested.

Public Meeting
Speakers:
Arthur Scargill
Ricky Tomlinson
Tuesday 7th September 2010. 
7pm
The Green Room
Duke Street
City Centre
Liverpool
L1 5AA   
  

The Socialist Way

Blog Archive